Kate Hawken

Conveyancing and leasehold enfranchisement lawyer Kate Hawken ditches 14-hour days for consultancy with Setfords.

Kate Hawken is a CILEX Conveyancing Practitioner and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. She specialises in conveyancing and leasehold enfranchisement. In 2021, Kate decided to join Setfords from traditional law, where she found the long days and lack of autonomy weren’t worth it anymore.

We spoke to Kate to find out more about her Setfords journey so far:

Why consultancy?

Lawyers decide to make the jump to consultancy for all kinds of reasons. But one that comes up time and time again is the desire to have more time. Traditional law isn’t known for short days or a flexible schedule, but this is something that consultancy can offer in abundance. This is something that Kate experienced, saying:

“I was doing 14 hours a day and didn’t want to do that anymore. I chose to become a consultant instead, and this way of working is so much better.”

Now she’s a couple of years in, how is Kate finding her Setfords experience? She says:

“I have a lot more control over how and when I work now. I can work when I want and stop when I want. I can also choose my own files, and I’ve found that I can get on with doing my work far more efficiently because I don’t have to attend lots of unnecessary meetings or deal with constant interruptions!”

It’s true that at Setfords, we have no billing targets or rigid schedules. Our lawyers can work whenever and however they want, from almost anywhere in the world. This gives them a lot more flexibility over their own schedules. So, what does a typical day look like for Kate?

“I usually start work at 6 am and put work on Dictate Now [our dictation application]. I set my working hours from 9-3 pm, so I typically start going through my emails from 9. But, depending on how busy the day is, I can finish early and get on with my day if I want to, which is the great thing about being a Setfords consultant.”

Supporting our lawyers’ success

Even though our consultants may be autonomous, that doesn’t mean they’re left completely on their own. Our support team is made up of more than 140 people with all kinds of expertise to ensure our consultants can work efficiently. We also invest in the best tech to help things run smoothly. Kate says:

“There’s a great support system at Setfords. Also, Dictate Now is brilliant – everything is so easy and user-friendly. Overall, the support feels like a safety blanket, and I feel reassured that nothing is missed.”

All of this support and more is included in our fee split, with no additional charges for our consultants. That’s what sets us apart from other consultancy firms – plus the fact that we’ve been doing it for almost twenty years!

Finally, Kate has some words of advice for lawyers who might be considering consultancy for themselves:

“Just do it. I would have done this sooner if I had known about it sooner!”

If, like Kate, you want to join a firm where you set the working hours but have the safety blanket of an industry-leading support team, we want to hear from you! If you’re an England and Wales-qualified lawyer with 5+ years PQE, get in touch today to discuss how consultancy might work for you.   


Is consultancy for me?

If you want to find out more about becoming a consultant with us, get in touch. We are happy to conduct interviews remotely for suitable, UK-qualified candidates with five or more years’ experience. If you’re a good fit, you’ll be joining a team that was created for lawyers to do their best work.

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